Can it be that it was two decades ago that I first landed in Italy, fell in love and almost 20 years later, as we are about to ring in 2020, be sitting here at my desk, writing a blog about the fantastic year Delectable Destinations has had in 2019? One word: GRATEFUL
I am reminiscing about the year, the great moments and fun of 2019. We covered a lot of ground –Tuscany, three trips to the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Ireland, Burgundy, France, Andalucia, Spain, India and Bhutan. Culinary heaven, cultural gems and the most stunning landscapes – each destination has its treasure, and we love sharing them all with YOU!
As always, the best part is meeting and spending time with the beautiful guests that join us on our trips, new and returning. Laughter, good times, and many “toasts” to friendships, health and adventures!
The key to what makes each trip unique and special is working with my trusted, and excellent business partners from all corners of the world. A huge thank you to all!
Our passion is to inspire travel dreams, to encourage our guests to see the world through open eyes, and an open heart. To meet with the locals and feel their pride and passion. Going “behind” the scenes and off the “tourist” map and offer an authentic experience.
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year! May 2020 and the next decade bring us health, happiness, love, peace and exciting adventures!
Hope to see you on a Delectable Destinations journey soon!
Springtime in Tuscany. Can you picture a more beautiful time to visit?! Everything is alive, the poppies are in full bloom and dot the Tuscan hills. We enjoyed picturesque villages, delicious food, glorious vineyards and our market and cooking day with Chef Veronica from La Quercia Estate in the Chianti region is always a highlight. Roll up your sleeves and join us in 2020!Three trips to the Amalfi Coast this year – Spring & Fall and always a joy to share my “second” home with my guests. Stunning vistas, wonderful people, and the food….!! The highlights: Cooking at Mamma Agata’s cooking school, our tour of Vietri sul Mare and wine tour at Le Vigne Di Raito with our favorite guide, Alfonso and the always lovely and welcoming owner, Patrizia, pizza making in Tramonti, limoncello everywhere and did we mention the food?!
Puglia is a true gem and a definite destination to put on your travel list. Seriously delicious food and exceptional wines, old-world charm, and historic towns. Puglia, “the heel of the boot” is surrounded by crystal-clear waters – the Adriatic and Ionian seas. During our week, we visited 3 Michelin-star restaurants – one of which is the first to receive a star in Southern Italy – Al Fornello da Ricci. Our private boat excursion was also a hit – sun, sea and some Prosecco… Salute!
Our first tour to Ireland was a hit with our group! Our focus was on the Northern region of Ireland – County Donegal – the “Wild Atlantic Way”, and a couple of days in Belfast. Each day was a wonderful adventure. The landscape is breathtaking, the history is fascinating, the locals are the nicest people in the world and, yes, the food was excellent! Our next trip is scheduled for September 2020, and I hope you will join us on this enchanting trip.
In September, we enjoyed a fantastic week on our second tour to Burgundy, France. Imagine staying in a 400-year old renovated farmhouse, in a sleepy little French village, next to the Burgundy canal. Each day a feast! Fabulous food and cooking days with our talented Chef Katherine, visits to charming historical towns, UNESCO sites and fun local markets. We enjoyed the company of a private wine expert as he toured with us throughout the region to incredible vineyards. No lack of wine tastings on this trip!
Another great week in Andalucia, Spain in October with a group of lovely ladies. Our home for the week was the always beautiful Cortijo El Carligto, and our private Chef David spoiled us daily with his delicious culinary creations. This region is a must for food and wine lovers, and the scenery will take your breath away – from the mountains to the sea and the most beautiful sunsets. Spain has captured our hearts!
India in November was a blast! Fabulous group and laughter daily. We traveled to Delhi, Jaipur and then journeyed to Darjeeling, the magical land of tea (pics below). It is hard to put India into words, but after six successful trips, I can say that India is a destination that will change you forever. If India is on your “bucket” list, do it! There is nothing like it.
A corner of HEAVEN. Imagine waking up to these views? These are moments in life when you think: “Is this a dream”? No dream but a beautiful reality. I can tell you no one complained about getting up at 5:30 AM to see the sunrise over the Himalayas – the Kanchenjunga mountain range. Our stay at the Glenburn Tea Estate was truly breathtaking and as always, warmly welcomed with open arms. Looking forward to our return in March 2020! We do have a couple of spots available – contact us for more details.
Our first visit to this sacred land of Bhutan was in November. A spiritual treasure, a country that the whole world should look to as an example of how to live. The beauty and simplicity, the people, pristine landscape, the peacefulness and energy will stay with me forever. This country is “Shangri-La”, and I do hope it stays this way forever. A perfect end to our 2019 travel year!
Hope to see you on a Delectable Destinations adventure in 2020!
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, coordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, and solo travelers, seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Sicily, Spain, Ireland and India.
Delectable Destinations…Delivering your dream trip. For more information & 2020 trips log onto www.delectabledestinations.com